Gender Equality and Mechanisms for Protecting the Rights of Women and Disadvantaged Persons
On 5 – 6 December 2003, the city of Veliko Turnovo hosted a seminar for by newly elected in 2003 Local Elections women from 60 municipalities and local administration experts, as well as representatives of NGOs, working for the protection of the rights of women, disadvantaged people and ethnic minorities.
The seminar aimed at creating an open forum for women, directly involved in the decision-making process at the local level – mayors, deputy-mayors, municipal councilors, general secretaries, by establishing contacts between them in order to successfully exchange information, good practices and partnership.
The seminar discussed the newly adopted equal treatment and anti-discrimination legislation in the context of implementing working models at the local level. The participants were acquainted with different good practices and were provided with publications on the implementation of mechanisms for ensuring equal opportunities – information brochures and the book “Gender Equality and the Ombudsman Institution”.
The event featured special training exercises on intercultural communication presented by Ms. Arian Rueda from Switzerland and Ms. Birgit Laheiner from Austria.
The presentation of Dr. Ventsislav Panchev from Sofia University discussed different interactive methods for conflict resolution.
Ms. Tatiana Kmetova, Executive Director of the Center of Women’s Studies and Policies, focused in her lecture on equal treatment policies and non-discrimination. Ms. Kmetova commented the significant progress in guaranteeing gender equality, focusing on the necessary actions and measures on the part of the executive at all levels for the successful implementation of the Law on the Ombudsman and the Law on Protection against Discrimination, which enter into force on 1 January 2004.
The director of Center Nadia Ms. Rossanka Venelinova presented different policies against everyday violence in modern Bulgarian society and the activities of Center Nadia in Sofia and other cities throughout the country.
The participants shared their experience on various issues concerning the infringement and protection of human rights. Among the most active were the representatives of the groups of disadvantaged people from the cities of Svishtov and Liaskovets and the Roma minority from Zlataritsa and Strazhitsa.
The seminar was organized by the European Information Center, Veliko Turnovo, and is financially supported by the Center of Women’s Studies and Policies.